Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Live Blogging: Brown Bag Lunch with Gordon Tullock

Today, I had the pleasure of listening to Gordon Tullock during the lunch hour. I have recorded some of the memorable quotes from the session.

When asked about being a founder of public choice, Tullock responded by saying, "I didn't know the implications of what I was doing. I thought I was just writing an interesting book."

What was the worst application of your work?
"All genuine applications of my work are good."
So what was the worst?
"I can't think of any."

"It is not clear that politicians gain anything from reading my work. I have a theory of politics; it's not a theory of how to get ahead in politics."

What do you consider your biggest contribution?
"Teaching economists that they don't have to stick to economics."

Are we likely to slow or reverse the growth of government?
"I am afraid not. It is certainly unlikely. I would like to shrink it. But it is important to remember that our government, by world standards, is quite small."

"I would like, myself, to have a government that focuses primarily on preventing crime."

"It is not evident to me that government needs to subsidize science."


Anonymous said...

Fantastic! That must've been great! I am jealous.

Will Luther said...

Brown bag talks are certainly one of my favorite things about GMU. It is an incredible opportunity to have an informal discussion with those great thinkers that most people only get to experience by reading their works.

Last week I heard Douglas North.

jeremy h. said...

He also said something to the effect of: "In ten years, I don't think the majority of the world will be living in democracies anymore."